Saying Goodbye to the Circus

I’ve seen a lot of posts lately, about people’s successes, and truly I am so happy for each of you who has toiled and suffered and worked so hard for the shimmering happiness that comes with getting a longed for positive, with each week that passes that brings you closer and closer to the safety zone. I do not begrudge your obsessive pee sticks, your burgeoning belly shots and your tentative steps toward a cautious joy. I  happily root for you. I sincerely hope that each of you finds that. I hope I find that.

But the posts about resentments have always made me wonder if I was a good fit for this community. How different my belief systems are, how much older I am,  how different my experiences have been, and all the ways those experiences have shaped me.  I don’t understand how you can wish like crazy for a baby and resent someone who has been on their own path through hell, a positive pee stick or a belly shot. Even in my current state of grief, I can’t grasp this thinking. I can’t wrap my head around it. I understand it. I’ve felt those twinges as well, but I have never given in to them. I never will allow myself to.

To be completely clear, I do not judge you if these are your feelings, they are yours. But I do not understand them in the grand scheme of things.

“Coming out” on Facebook has been nice, sort of. But embarrassing and kind of humiliating. The truth is I don’t think most of my “friends” really want to read about the misery I am currently experiencing. To be honest, I’m not sure I want to continue to share it. If I am brutally honest, I think it was kind of pathetic on my part, to call attention to it. Clearly it was me reaching out into the void, looking for support. I’ve said all  along I don’t have a support system. That has never been clearer and more “in my face” than since my embryo died. I call it an embryo because by medical definition, it wasn’t a fetus yet, and I can’t handle calling it a baby.

Yesterday, someone I respect said to me, “You are right. You really don’t have anyone in your life, like a best friend or a spouse that supports you, so you can’t afford to fall apart. You’re going to have to be stronger.”

This statement made me really angry, because after all I’ve been through, I feel entitled to be weak for a minute. I feel like I deserve to be allowed to fall apart. The truth is, he was right. I have no one that will pick me up again so I AM going to have to be stronger. I am going to have to keep putting one foot in front of the other because there is no one else to do it for me. No one to share my burden.

This most recent series of posts that I’ve read and posted, has made me wonder if I have lost the purpose of this blog. When a Circus becomes a Horror Story perhaps its time for the Circus to close down.

That’s what I’m going to do.

I will not be taking the blog down. I will be reading and responding to comments, but I no longer think this is a positive means to express my feelings about my journey. I have decided I will try IVF again, but I have a lot of ugly to get through first. I think its best sorted out in private, so this will be my last post here.

I have found I really love writing, though I’m not terribly good at it,  and you will now be able to find me at The Luncheonette.

It’s still under construction, but I think it will be a more complete representation of who I am. I will be sharing a menu of my travels, photography, food, my husband and stepdaughter, things I think are funny or inspiring, books, music, movies, my observations of the world, and my immature shenanigans.

I want to thank the IF community for being kind to me, for supporting me and tolerating my sometimes controversial posts. For reading even when I’ve been a bitch or my posts have sucked. I know in my heart that the day will come for each of you when you hold your baby(s) in your arms and feel happier and more complete as women, and as part of families.  My email address is jlko@att.net if you want to stay in touch.

I hope it’s not goodbye, I hope it’s just so long, and I hope to see you at the lunch counter!

Jeanette

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Honest Toddler

I happened across this blog yesterday and nearly peed myself laughing (always with the oversharing).

I thought I’d share it with you. Because there just hasn’t been enough funny in my life lately, and assuming the Fertility Circus ever actually produces a live baby, it will become a whole other kind circus all together. One I will look forward to but still. A Circus.

Have a read. Its hilarious!

Honest Toddler

Blue Moon

I hate the phrase “Aunt Flo” and TOTM, and other such 7th grade expressions of my menses. I just call it “shark week”. Because I’ve evolved to at least the 9th grade, and think it sounds funnier and more obtuse than a mundane “Aunt Flo”.  According to my calendar its about 3 days out, but I’m hoping that its more like 6 or 7 days, because I’d like to not have to drop my drawers on a Saturday, the only time my husband, stepdaughter and I have time together.

After a solid 2 week break, yours truly will be featured under the Big Top, at the Circus, sans pantalon ( french for “without pants”) starting the end of this week. I may rethink this sentence later because it sounds less like a circus and more like some kind of drunken bachelor weekend in Tijuana.

With my 5th month at the Circus, comes the beginning of a second “package” of cycles, the anxiety that last cycle will be precedent setting for all future cycles, the no follicles part, not the awesome blastocyst part. And my birthday. Which I have always hated.

Why do I hate my birthday? It’s another year gone with no child or pregnancy, it’s another year closer to menopause, and mostly it’s because I was twins, and my twin died. It’s a funny thing to be a single surviving twin. People talk about that special connection twins have, and I dont know if its real or not, but I’ve spent most of my life, wondering where he is and why he left me. A weird thing to think about someone you never met.

8 weeks or so before my mother was due with us, she tripped and fell over an ottoman, and went into an early labor. They didn’t give Caesarians out like party hats in those days. She had 3 other kids vaginal so she gave birth to us that way as well. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and so he was stillborn. Consequently my birth certificate also serves as his death certificate.

Twins run strongly in my family. For 5 generations the youngest daughter has had a twin, always fraternal, always a boy, and never has the boy survived. My younger brother broke this cycle with fraternal twin boys, both of whom survived and flourish.

Secretly I’ve always wanted twins. But at this stage, I don’t want to be greedy. I would be happy with one healthy normal baby.

When I start writing those posts I don’t always know where they will end up. Sometimes its something I’ve half planned and sometimes its a stream of consciousness I should probably do a better job of trying to control.

There is a name for months where there are 2 full moons. They are called “Blue Moons”. The last week of March will bring my second period in a month. REALLY? Who decided this? I’d like to speak to a supervisor!

I guess it’s a proverbial blue moon. Blue moons are rare and considered lucky. Maybe I will get a good cycle, with several mature eggs, all of which become high quality completely healthy blasts. I’d settle for an easy uneventful, successful cycle with a single healthy blast.

 

Welcome to the Circus!

Circus’ are scary, and kind of fun. You eat things you’d never eat on a regular day, feel a little pukey..and there are tons of animals right? Total bonus.

I know, no one really goes to the circus anymore because of cruelty to animals, faulty rides, tents and the weird smells. I’ve been doing the IVF thing for a while now with no success, and the only way I can cope is to point out the unbelievable roller coaster of emotions and utter absurdity of it all.

There are parts of it, that are very tender and caring, that involve a lot of feelings I wasn’t sure I was ever capable of. I’ve read a lot of blogs that are really serious about the process of making a baby and becoming and staying pregnant. Pages and pages of disappointment, desperation and despair. Of feeling unworthy, forgotten by God (or whatever you do or don’t believe in) Women beating themselves up because they are unable to do what so many do so easily.

I have those feelings too, days of self-doubt, “am I too old?” “Why me?” Days where I’ve driven myself round the bend with the “what ifs” and the “what happens when?” Days when I have so many regrets I can barely breathe.

Then the days where I can not believe that this is whats become of my life. The days where I look at where I’ve been and wonder how it is I have made it through this far, without pointing and laughing at the sheer indignity of this process. You see, I am the circus animal in this scenario.

There are so many things people don’t tell you about IVF. So many things you have to learn. A whole new set of acronyms. A new kind of diet, weird things that people say work, that defy logic or good taste, and by “good taste” I mean that taste good. You find yourself eating stuff that 3 months earlier would never have passed your lips. Wheat grass anyone? It’s awesome, it tastes just like lawn clippings. Chinese herbs? No? They taste like licorice and dirt. How about some pineapple core? Not the delicious part of the pineapple. Just the core.

Then there is the lack of pants. Which probably deserves its own post. Oh, and don’t forget to say goodbye to your sanity and dignity. Between the hormones, injections, and results, it will at times leave you. Completely.

Join me will you? Like the gypsy from an old Bruce Springsteen song, I can promise a bumpy ride with no clear outcome.